Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Simple Gluten-Free Banana Nut Muffins and Fall Photos

I've made quite a few banana nut muffins over the years... such as these, and these, and even these... but yesterday I just wanted the easiest recipe I could find.

I flipped through my baking cookbook and found a recipe that used my "master baking mix" (you could substitute gluten-free bi$quick or your favorite all-purpose GF baking mix) but I didn't have any on hand...  so I made it work for what I did have on hand:

Simple Gluten-Free Banana Nut Muffins
gluten-free, can be dairy-free, no xanthan or guar gums, can be egg-free
serves 12
print-friendly recipe

Dry Ingredients: 
2 cups gluten-free flour of YOUR choice -OR- my current favorite blend:
     -2/3 cup brown rice flour
     -2/3 cup arrowroot starch
     -2/3 cup almond flour (I prefer Honeyville)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

Wet Ingredients:
2 medium bananas, mashed to oblivion (about 1 cup of banana puree)
2 large eggs (or egg substitutes)
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup non-dairy milk mixed with 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or lemon juice)
2 tablespoons lite olive oil -or- melted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Line a muffin pan with paper liners and spritz them with non-stick cooling oil or lite olive oil.
  • In a large bowl whisk together all dry ingredients. 
  • In a smaller bowl whisk together all wet ingredients.
  • Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients and just mix until all the dry ingredients have been thoroughly incorporated into the wet ingredients. 
  • Using a 1/3 cup measuring cup, spoon batter into a greased or paper-lined muffin tins until at least 3/4 full - but you can fill to the top, they will just rise taller.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes, testing the middle with a toothpick inserted in the middle (should come out clean) to make sure the muffins are done. 
  • Cool on a wire rack and serve. These muffins can be stored on the counter for up to 3 days and they will retain their moisture. I would freeze them in small packages after that. 


Michael's mom playing with Charlie during a recent visit... 

In other news... I'm headed towards the end of my first graduate class and trying to get caught up on my last few assignments... because this final paper is not going to write itself...

Michael had a double ear-infection over the past week and I hope I NEVER have to see him go through something like that again. Talk about serious pain. I felt so bad for him. Thankfully after 3 trips to the doctor and 2 rounds of antibiotics + a huge antibiotic shot over the past three weeks, he's doing much better. And trust me on this one...after all that medication, give your loved ones probiotics... probiotics are the bee's knees my friends! Do it people!

I can't believe how FAST this semester has flown by.... I'm not sure if it's because I'm older and time in general seems to go by faster now or if school just has a way of making life do that... but I kinda wish it would slow down a bit! :-)

Happy Fall Everyone!

This guy has been lurking in the pecan tree over the past few weeks! We still can't believe he let Michael get this close!

Best buddies for life! Charlie & Whiskey Jack

So THIS was the publication that people
found a familiar face in... 

It's actually a 2nd printing from last year, which was why I was so surprised to see it!
Fun to see yourself in the drug store magazine selection though! :-) 

Our super sweet niece Cheyenne... 

Cheyenne decided I needed a friend to take home with me...
heart = melted!

Michael took this at the duck pond at work one morning. I love fall sunrises! 

Michael and his siblings.  So good to see them all together!

Fall decluttering... it took two loads to get it all in the car to Goodwill... and I'm not done yet...

Charlie's favorite spot!

A favorite shot of my father-in-law.. love this guy!

Gluten-free cupcakes I made for a friend's birthday.
I loved how the frosting turned out (Good ol' Pillsbury...). Used this recipe

All the snuggles and the sticking out of tongues!

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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Afternoon Coffee, Procrastination, and Peanut Butter Cookies

Don't judge... Yes, that's instant coffee! I'm the only one who drinks coffee in the GLG household, I don't like the environmental impact of K-cups.. and let me tell you, Nescafe is darn better than Sanka (well, Sanka circa 1990 which tasted like charcoal.. I haven't tried it lately though... ;-) 

It's a quiet Sunday, I was enjoying a small afternoon cup of coffee and I pulled out my "Introduction to Library and Information Science" to begin reading chapters 8, 9, 10  for my assignment next week and then it dawned on me, it was a great time to make cookies.  I know, I thought it was brilliant timing too! 

My favorite peanut butter cookies are the ol'  "1 cup of peanut butter + 1 cup sugar + 1 egg" recipe... but I didn't want to use THAT much peanut butter (do you know how expensive peanut butter is these days?) or THAT much sugar... or really...let's be honest...do I need THAT many cookies?

Probably, I don't need any cookies...

A few months ago I bought a used hardback copy of the 1974 edition of the Joy of Cooking. I wanted to get a copy I could actually use since the beloved paperback that my Dad had when I was growing up, is literally falling apart.

I love that cookbook. His favorite chocolate chip cookies came from Ms. Irma Rombauer and probably a bunch of other meals we used to eat growing up like meatloaf, oyster stew, and chicken a' la King. I wonder where Irma learned to make chicken a' la King.

These are basically the peanut butter cookies in Joy of Cooking (1974 ed.), but I made them gluten-free (of course) and halved the recipe. You could easily make this recipe egg free, If you choose to do that I would replace it with 1 tablespoon of water mixed with 1 teaspoon of ground flax seeds. Stir that mixture together and allow it to 'gel.'

If you decide to double the recipe below, just use a whole egg instead of an egg white (or double up on the flax seed substitute.)

Basic Peanut Butter Cookies
adapted from the 1974 edition of 'Joy of Cooking' by Irma Rombauer
gluten-free, soy-free, easily egg-free, vegetarian
yields 30 - 1.5" cookies

Wet Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine of choice, (or even extra peanut butter if you're a big fan)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (we like chunky, all natural)
  • 1 egg white (or 1 tablespoon water mixed with 1 teaspoon ground flaxseeds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Dry Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot starch (or starch of choice -- potato starch, cornstarch, tapioca starch, etc...)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. In a large bowl cream together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and peanut butter, until creamy and fluffy.
  3. Stir in the egg white and vanilla. 
  4. In another bowl whisk together all dry ingredients. 
  5. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients until you have a sticky, slightly wet cookie dough. 
  6. Drop batter by small spoonfuls (about a teaspoon and a half per cookie) onto the cookie sheet. Placing a few inches between each cookie - we make 12 cookies per batch. 
  7. Flatten cookies by gently pressing with the back of a fork in a criss-cross pattern. To keep the fork from sticking to the cookie, dip in granulated sugar between criss-crosses. 
  8. Bake for 11-14 minutes until the edges of the cookies are golden brown. 

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